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Rochdale 0-1 Peterborough: Report

9 August 2014

Rochdale opened their 2014/15 League One Campaign with a narrow 1-0 defeat against last season's play-off semi-finalists, Peterborough United at Spotland Stadium.

A single goal separated the two sides - Kyle Vassell with the goal for Posh.


The air of optimism that is ever present for the season opener could be felt around the ground for the Rochdale team who lined up as Lillis; Rafferty; Bennett; Lancashire; Lund; Done; Tanser; Donnelly; Allen; Rose and Henderson.


The opening exchanges saw chances for both sides with a slip from Oliver Lancashire allowing Nathaniel Mendez-Laing through on goal but Rafferty was on hand with some superb defending to recover the situation.


The Peterborough defence were the ones who had to be alert two minutes later to block a rally of successive Rochdale shots. They were unable to test the keeper however, and Rhys Bennett was eventually found offside from one of the many ricochets.


Mendez-Laing was given another sight of goal for Peterborough with a curling shot from the edge of the box but it was tipped over the bar superbly by Josh Lillis.


A short corner gave Mendez-Laing his third chance of the half, and a carbon copy of his previous chance. He saw his powerful curling effort this time come crashing off the crossbar before being scrambled clear by the Rochdale defence.


Bennett was denied superbly by Ben Alnwick in the Peterborough goal. He showed some good feet to turn inside the area and unleashed a fierce left-footed drive destined for the top corner. Alnwick had other ideas however, and leapt high to keep the shot out. 


Following a quick move down he right hand side, Jon Taylor was put clean through on goal. His toe poke looked to be rolling into the bottom corner before Lillis showed some lightning quick reactions to get down and keep the ball out of his goal. 


Another rally for Rochdale saw both Ian Henderson and George Donnelly denied. Henderson's long range effort was parried poorly by Alnwick, who was able to recover and spread himself well to block Donnelly's follow up. This fell kindly back to Henderson who's lobbed effort was headed off the line and eventually cleared by the Peterborough defence.


HALF TIME: Rochdale 0-0 Peterborough United


The first real chance of the half fell the way of George Donnelly. He beat his man in a foot race after a fantastic ball down the left wing from Tanser. After breaking through on goal, however, the angle was against him and his cross-come-shot came to nothing.


Peterborough opened the scoring in the 61st minute through Kyle Vassell. After the ball found Conor Washington in a central position just inside the area, he was able to lay the ball off to Vassell who slotted the ball home into the bottom left corner.


Rochdale 0-1 Peterborough United


Rochdale responded to the goal by piling the pressure on the Peterborough defence, with much of the action coming down the two wings. Calvin Andrew, who replaced Donnelly, did well to beat his man on the right-hand side but he couldn't find anybody in the middle with his cross.


From a similar position, Henderson swung a deep cross in towards Peter Vincenti but his connection with the ball wasn't clean, and it dropped tamely into the goalkeepers hands. The pressure continued to come with Peterborough rarely leaving their own half but Rochdale were struggling to find a way through the deep-lying defence.


Going into eight minutes of added time, Rochdale ramped the pressure up once more. First Calvin Andrew flicked a header on to Vincenti whose shot on the half-volley flew just wide of the goal. Vincenti again was the man with the last action of the game. He got his head onto the end of a cross from the right hand side but his effort bounced off the defender's head and looped just over the bar.


FULL TIME: Rochdale 0-1 Peterborough United.


The result was much less than the Rochdale performance deserved. Keith Hill and his team however, are likely take plenty of positives from this game into the remaining 45 matches that lie ahead.


Attendance: 3,613


Man of The Match: Scott Tanser

Report by Rob Anderson

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